Tony Mastroianni Review Collection

Catch Me If You Can

Cleveland Press June 6, 1966

"Catch Me If You Can" is a gimmick play, a mystery that resolves itself in the closing moments with several wildly unexpected twists. They're not totally plausible, but they certainly come as a surprise.

But any implausibility about the solution is as nothing compared to the contrived happenings that occur during the three acts of the play. But this is mystery and comedy and it's summer and a fine cast handles the wackier moments well enough to make you suspend your more critical faculties and permit you to enjoy the evening.

The action of the play takes place In a summer cottage in the Catskill Mountains where a young advertising executive from Detroit, played by Dennis Weaver, is spending his honeymoon. His wife, however, has vanished.

A fine looking, but totally strange woman, Pamela Grey, moves in and claims to be his wife. The local priest (Dan Hogan) claims to believe her and almost convinced is a police inspector, Charles Hudson.

THE YOUNG HUSBAND does a good deal of shouting and arm waving trying to tell everyone that the woman is an impostor but only manages to convince everyone that he's unbalanced.

She's so pretty why not keep her anyway offers the Borscht circuit detective. Since some revelations comes early in the play its not giving anything away to say the woman admits to being bent on homicide and larceny, and that the only thing priestly about the priest is his collar.

Things seem to get steadily worse for the young husband what with everyone closing in on him and all sorts of mayhem going on around -- shooting, knifing, poisoning.

MIXED WITH THE MENACE is the comedy, the detective especially offering rapid-fire though not terribly witty quips. Sample: "Don't shout, I got 20-20 hearing."

There's also Sidney (Don Fenwick), proprietor of the local delicatessen, who talks to anyone around, himself or even a stuffed moose head.

The jokes are there to pad out a play that is marking time until it can work its way to that tricky ending.

As played by this company it is pleasant enough and moves quickly. It also is a fresh play. It ran for a time in New York a year ago but never toured. Thus, unlike the average summer theater play, it isn't something you've seen before several times.

DENNIS WEAVER, best known as Chester of TV's Gunsmoke, is amiable and at ease in his role. In his distraught moments he registers the necessary panic without allowing you to forget that this is still a comedy.

Canal Fulton's resident company seems like a thoroughly capable one on the basis of this first offering.